Nutter to sign LGBT rights bill

a3fba0db72aec4dda154d789339d1cbb.570.0.0At 3pm today, Mayor Nutter will sign a bill that will make Philadelphia the most LGBT-friendly city in the country, according to a press release.

The legislation, sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney, will provide the first “Life Partner and Transgender Health Tax Credits” in the country, offering tax incentives for private companies to provide benefits to the partner of a LGBT employee. It would also require all new city construction to build gender-neutral bathrooms; provide extended health benefits for LGBT city employees, including surgery for transpeople; and more.

The bill passed City Council 14-3, with only Councilman David Oh, Brian O’Neill and Bill Green voting against.

“I could live with the language in the bill, but the changes in the medical insurance for transgender surgery: I’m not there yet,” O’Neill said at the time.

The national news picked up on the story soon after the bill passed and many right-wing sources were not happy. The most hilarious reaction came from a Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center writing for Front Page Magazine, who claimed the bill covers “genital mutilation surgery for city workers.” He surmised Philadelphia is run by “irresponsible morons with less common sense than squirrels on absinthe,” a phrase PW contributing photographer Kyle Cassidy later noted has “entered the lexicon where I expect it will prove invaluable for years to come.”

And while it’s true the bill will make Philly the most gay-friendly city in the country, it will still exist within Pennsylvania, the most LGBT-hostile state in the northeast.

Nutter will offer words before signing the bill, and will be joined by Councilman Kenney, Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs Gloria Casarez, State Rep. Brian Sims and Executive Director of Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Rue Landau.

UPDATE: Signed.

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